Indianapolis baseball team partners with Miami Nation to keep team name
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis’ Minor League Baseball team, which has been under pressure to drop its team name as other sports have done, said Wednesday night it’s partnered with the Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana.
As a result, the Indianapolis Indians will keep Indians as the team name through the 2024 season “as the organization explores and activates programs with the Miami,” says a news release from the team.
The team will make a formal statement that recognizes and respects the Miami Nation as traditional stewards of the land, and about the relationship between the Miami Nation and its traditional territories. That’s what commonly called a Land Acknowledgment.
The Indianapolis team also will recognize Miami veterans during Native American Heritage Night at Victory Field, and support a scholarship program and “fan educational opportunities,” the release says.
The chief of Indiana’s Miami Nation, Brian Buchanan, says in the release that the group has “encouraged the team to remain the Indianapolis Indians.” He also welcomed the chance to “share our story” with Hoosiers.
The team’s logo since 1995 has featured a Navaho quilt pattern of a Native American’s face.
Teams that have dropped Native American mascots have included the MLB’s Cleveland Guardians and the NFL’s Washington Commanders. In 2020, the Kansas City Chiefs withdrew their mascot but kept the team name. Other international teams and U.S. high school teams have also changed mascots.